Walmart is taking on the opioid abuse crisis with a safe solution to dispose of unused prescriptions.
Walmart is incredibly proud to fund this initiative that provides our patients with an opioid disposal solution they can access nationwide, at no cost.' According to DisposeRx, packets contain a crosslinking polymer blend that, when added to the pill bottle with warm water, sequester any form of prescription drugs - including powders, pills, tablets, capsules, liquids or patches - into a non-divertible and biodegradable gel.
Patients with chronic prescriptions will get a free DisposeRX packet every six months.
The company, which has 70 locations in New Jersey, announced a plan to introducing a new, free program starting January 17 for people who fill their opioid prescriptions at its pharmacies, Walmart said in a press release.
Once the pills have been dissolved, it's relatively hard to extract the opioid as well, DisposeRx CEO John Holaday told reporters on a call. Existing pharmacy patients can also request a free DisposeRx packet at any time, including at the upcoming Walmart Wellness Day event scheduled for January 20 from 10 a.m.to 2 p.m. all Walmart locations nationwide.
The move comes as the United States grapples with the scourge of opioid addiction, an affliction that often begins when chronic-pain sufferers fill a prescription at a retail pharmacy chain such as Wal-Mart, CVS or Walgreens. Aetna also published its opioid strategy paper in June 2017, detailing the company's work to prevent misuse and abuse.
Walmart is trying to help curb America's opioid crisis.
Walmart's offer of free DisposeRX is just the latest in a series of efforts by pharmacies to reduce the risk that opioids will be diverted from their appropriate use as painkillers and abused by either the original customer or another person. However, the retailer does not accept the return for disposal of the drugs that it sells.
Walmart's Hays said DisposeRX "provides a [disposal] solution for customers to manage that at home, and much more conveniently". John Boozman, R-Ark., where the company's headquarters is located.